Trump drops LGBT people from 2020 census survey

When the bureau originally unveiled its "Planned Subjects" for the survey, they included "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" as official categories, but that likely remnant of the Obama administration was quickly excised, writes Chris Johnson. A U.S. Census with questions on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people would also confirm how many LGBTQ Americans now live in the country, giving both federal and local governments an accurate picture of LGBTQ life in the United States.

An earlier draft of "planned subjects" for the 2020 Census included a proposal to include sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time - however that inclusion was left out of the report delivered to Congress earlier this week.

The U.S. Census Bureau, which is part of the Department of Commerce, is required to issue a list of categories it plans to track three years before the survey is conducted. And by "corrected" they really mean "edited so that we don't have to pay attention to anyone not straight or cis".

The Census Bureau under President Trump reversed a decision requested by congressional Democrats and gay-rights advocates to ask Americans about their sexual orientation in the 2020 Census.

The mistake was more than just a gaffe, as advocates have been stressing the need for the Census to acknowledge the gender and sexuality of those from whom its collecting data to ensure that LGBT people are getting equal access to the rights and protections granted to heterosexual and cisgender individuals. The Washington Blade reports word from the bureau that the question was originally "included in error".

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The LGBTQ community now is sorely underserved by government departments, Solomon said. In a statement from the National LGBTQ Task Force, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director Meghan Maury expressed her organization's disappointment. While the rest of Corporate America is trying to gather every last bit of information it can on LGBT persons, particularly couples, for marketing purposes, Mr. Trump and his associates think LGBT folks shouldn't be counted at the Federal level.

The census now gives a snapshot of same-sex households, which has been used as an approximation of gay couples. "Whether it's through lobbying for legislation in Congress, pushing the administration to adopt new policies or serving on the U.S. Census Bureau's National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations".

Yet a draft version of the proposed census questionnaire was to to include such data.

The census will include the "relationship to householder" query on the 2020 form. Gates took census data along with his research to produce The Gay and Lesbian Atlas over a decade ago, and that work helped provide actual information for the first time about things like the number of LGBTQ individuals in the military, or the fact that same-sex couples live in nearly every county in the United States (imagine that!).

  • Phil Peters